BMW has announced a recall of 3-Series vehicles from the 2012 model year. At the center of that recall is a problem with the front-seat head restraints, which don't meet federal safety standards.
In a nutshell, the government mandates that head restraints (or "headrests" as we often call them) allow a maximum downward movement of 25 millimeters, or roughly one inch. That stiffness minimizes the backward motion of occupants' heads during a crash, which helps reduce the occurrence of whiplash and other injuries.
But according to a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the head restraints in the 2012 BMW 3-Series have an arc of more than 25 millimeters -- at least when they're lifted to their highest positions. And thus, the recall.
BMW's recall includes 3-Series vehicles manufactured between October 19, 2011 and March 18, 2012. In all, some 7,600 cars are affected.
BMW will notify owners of the recall this month. At that time, owners will be able to take their vehicles to a BMW dealer, who will install a clamp to the front-seat head restraints, which should fix the problem. The repair will be carried out free of charge.
Should you have questions in the meantime, we encourage you to contact your local dealer, or call BMW customer service at 800-525-7417. Alternately, you can ring NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and ask about recall campaign #12V176000.
For additional details, check out this article at Motor Authority.